In what Attorney General Jeff Sessions is calling the “largest healthcare fraud takedown in history”, the United State DOJ, HHS and state Attorney Generals offices have taken down more than 600 people. More than 70 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare professionals were involved.
Several industry insiders believe this is the tip of the iceberg and that many more busts like this one will take place. The fraud allegations together total more than $2 billion.
In the Middle and Eastern Districts of Louisiana and Southern District of Mississippi 42 people are being charged with more than $16 million in allegedly fraudulent billings. Charges also include money laundering.
Healthcare fraud has been the focus of several recent DOJ investigations that have resulted in hefty fines and penalties. In the face of the opioid epidemic in America, targeting Medicare fraud has been a priority when it comes to prescribing controlled substances.
Last summer more than 400 people were charged in what was then the largest bust in history. More than 500 exclusion notices have been issued to doctors, nurses and pharmacists since that time.
In a press release, the head of the HHR called the perpetrators “despicable and greedy.”